Checklist: unexpected things you need to bring to university
Two years ago, around this time, I was staring at my empty luggage and my endless list of “things I need at university”, hoping that I don’t leave anything out and that I’m fully prepared and fully equipped. Of course, once I got to Warwick, I realized how many gaps the list had that I’ll now try to fill in for you.
~ School uniform
Ok, this shouldn’t be on the top of your list, but there is the Skool Days Saturday, two times per term and, as the name goes, there is a school disco themed party, where students dress, more or less, in clothes resembling their old uniforms. A simple white shirt, a black skirt or pair of trousers and, for the boys, a tie, is a very good alternative. After all, you need a smart-casual outfit anyway, so make it one that’s versatile enough to be used both for a party and, why not, for an assessment center.
~ Coat hangers
In case you don’t want to carry a clothes iron with you, then is it very useful to have a few hangers, at least for your shirts, dresses and nice clothes so that when you put them on, it doesn’t seem as though you slept in them. I did carry a small clothes iron with me and there are ironing boards in every students’ hall, but I used it maximum three times, so my advice is that you don’t need one.
~ Your own bed sheets
You get a set of bed sheets from university, but they are white, plain and don’t create a homely feeling, so do get your own and personalize your room a bit.
~ Storage boxes
If your room will be small – which can happen if you’ll stay, for instance, in Whitefields, Old Rootes, Rootes International House, Cryfield, you’ll probably have a hard time fitting everything in, so a couple of additional storage boxes will be of great use.
~ Ear Plugs
These small items can become your best friends in “times of crisis”, when you realize your essay is due tomorrow, you’ve just started writing and your flat mates decide to have pre-drinking games in the kitchen. You can get free ones from Nightline – a helping point in campus which is open 24/7, but those ones are not great quality, so I suggest you get your own prior to coming to Warwick.
This may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when packing, but in my experience, beside my laptop, it was one of the things I made the most use out of. And the reasons why are simple: it’s comfortable and it keeps you warm during winter. Moreover, giving the fact that you’ll experience a lot of fire alarms, especially in the first term because someone will toast bread at 3 AM after a night out, the bathrobe is a handy thing to put over your pajama and leave the hall (no worries, it is usually a false alarm, but you’ll see that the smoke detectors are unforgiving).
~ Home clothes
Pack a couple of t-shirts and some leggings you won’t wear out and put then on when you cook or when you spend time in the hall. If you don’t change clothes when you’re in the kitchen, all your nice clothes will smell like food and spices and I’m sure you don’t want that.
~ Disinfectant napkins
These are very useful especially if you’re sharing the bathroom, from obvious reasons. They’re also a quick method to dust off your desk and night shelf from time to time and freshen up your room.
~ Proper scissors
You will need these when you least expect and you’ll probably realize how hard it will be to find good ones if you don’t come prepared.
~ Blue tack
If you want to stick anything on the walls, then use blue tack to make sure the pictures and posters won’t come off with the wall paint.
~ Extension leads
There are times when you need to charge your laptop, your phone, your speaker and also use your desk light all at once and it’s better to have room for all of them than to think which one you need the most.
~ Door stopper
This item is your socializing helper. It’s much easier for your flat mates to come by and ask if you happen to have some good scissors. Plus, I wish I had a door stopper in my first day at Warwick when I locked myself out in my onesie pajama and fluffy slippers.
I hope you find this list useful. Of course, the list goes on and it’s up to you what are the unexpected items you need. If you play an instrument, bring it along (well…in case you’re not a pianist or a drummer), if you want to brighten up your room, fairy lights work pretty well and if you come from an Eastern European country, leave some room for all the food your mom is going to pack for you.